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Saturday, March 31, 2007

U-C-L-A fight fight fight!

I'm so out of it I didn't even realize we're in the Final Four until tonight! Go Bruins!

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wingless was still breathing at 6:16 PM - 0 comments

Don't drink and idiot.

I've finally reached my limit. I went and re-read all the posts on this page and was completely disgusted by all the whining and poor, pathetic Joyce bullcrap.

Of course, I reserve the right to go back to whining AT ANY MOMENT. So try to enjoy this. Who knows how long it will last?

Ok, so now I don't have anything to say, imagine that.

Well, here's something that gets me all riled up every time I think about it. I'm not sure why exactly, as it has absolutely nothing to do with me; I didn't know the girl who died and I don't remember meeting any of the boys involved even though I apparently have.

The thing of it is, is that most (maybe all) of the boys involved in the accident are in Paul's fraternity and I guess because of that I've sort of prejudged them as a bunch of egotistic goons. I should probably clarify that I don't think ALL frat boys are egotistic goons (only most of them) but that I kind of have something against Paul's fraternity in particular because of their reputation and the fact that most of the people I have been associated with in the past are from fraternities that have nothing good to say about them.

So anyway, the whole thing just gets me all frothy at the mouth because, How! Could! They! Be! So! Dumb! The fact that they killed a girl in one of their own cars is absolutely tragic, but what makes me really angry is that they could have killed a totally innocent bystander who was just trying to get home to family after a long day of whatever. If idiots want to be self-destructive, please go right ahead but don't be destructive in a way where you could easily take out innocent people who want no part of your idiocy.

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wingless was still breathing at 1:45 PM - 0 comments

Friday, March 30, 2007

I like Kacy Crowley

He was too deep for his own good
He was the kind of person that nobody understood
I said, I love you
More than you love me
But I meant something
Entirely ugly

One year it rained on Christmas
He said, Let's just pretend we're in Paris
But I wasn't having it
No, I was killing it
I think his soul is so out of training

And, oh, his blood rushed somewhere silent
And, oh, his words just disappeared
He was fragile
And sometimes I like that
I've got his blood on my hands
And I've tried

It was the year that my horse broke
It was the year that I almost lost everything
I pushed him away
Only for my freedom
It tasted like salt
Like salt on my skin
And I...

Oh, his blood rushed somewhere silent
And, oh, his words just disappeared
He was fragile and
Sometimes I like that
I've got his blood on my hands
And I've tried

I can't make what's wrong
Right again
But I can shine it up bright again

Just when you think you're forgiven
There's no material left for confession
You'll be standing there
Look closer
Guilty and bloody and...

Oh, his blood rushed somewhere silent
And, oh, his words just disappeared
He was fragile
And sometimes I like that
I've got his blood on my hands
And my hands

Oh, his blood rushed somewhere silent
And, oh, his words just disappeared
He was fragile and sometimes I like that
I've got his blood on my hands and my hands
I've got his
Blood on my hands
I've got his blood on my hands
And I've tried

Blood - Kacy Crowley

This song reminds me of my relationship with Paul sometimes because there have been oh so many times when I've said things I completely regret later. And he always understands and always sticks with me in spite of myself. Which is why I'm marrying him. (And also, trying not to be such a jerk).


wingless was still breathing at 4:37 PM - 0 comments

Thursday, March 29, 2007


I guess it's pretty obvious, but I feel compelled to say it anyway: I am not in an okay place right now. Not at all. Not even a little bit.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not in a horrible place. I am not where I was a few years ago, locked in my studio for days at a time with no human contact and wondering what it would be like to slit my wrists in the shower. God willing I'll never be in that place again, but still, I'm not in a great place right now.

I kind of know what it's about, the job stuff, the wedding stress, being away from my family and Paul, an unpleasant roommate situation...I guess it's all of that and the uncertainty.

What the hell does the future hold?

And why can't I just trust that God is going to bring me through it, no matter what it is?

Why am I such a control freak?

Why am I so damn weepy all the time even though I had my period a week and a half ago? Why do I think about how if one more job inquiry goes unanswered I might throw myself out of a window?

Why do I call myself a loser and worthless and pathetic?

Why am I reverting to all this self-hate over something that's so insignificant in terms of eternity? My ability to find a job does not define my worthiness in the eyes of God. So why am I doing this to myself? Why am I buying into the way the world judges people? And why can't I stop myself from doing this?

Because I'm trying, or at least I think I am. I read my devotionals, and I try to take them to heart. The joy of the Lord is my strength. God can be trusted. I receive from God by faith. But I just can't make it stick for some reason.

For about five minutes I have that feeling of peace, that knowledge that things will be alright no matter what happens. And then I send out another email and get nothing back, and every time I check that damn inbox I feel my faith and sanity slipping away slowly.

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wingless was still breathing at 3:23 PM - 0 comments

Going all Bridezilla on your ass

Hey we've got an officiant! Paul found one over lunch because apparently one of his coworkers does that kind of thing in his spare time so Paul booked him on the spot. Finally, after months of no progress, we can cross one thing off the list.

So I went a little Bridezilla just now and I'm not making excuses for it but oddly enough I feel it has something to do with my job search. I think I feel like that is so out of my control that I need to start focusing on something that is completely and totally in my control. And when Paul suggested that I should give a rats behind about what one of his frat "bros" wants (to bring a certain person I do not like as a date), I kind of freaked out.

First of all, we established from the beginning of our wedding planning that only people in committed relationships would be allowed to bring their significant others. No casual dates. No friend dates. Only people who are expressly invited are to be there. This is partly to save money and partly because I just don't like the idea of a bunch of random people at my wedding...since most of our friends were single when we first started planning I figured this would work out anyway. Maybe Paul worded it wrong but when he said, "_____ wants to bring ____ as his date anyway even if we don't invite her." It just completely rubbed me the wrong way and I flipped out.

I almost cried a little as I typed cuss words at him about how I don't give a flying **** what _____ wants because it's not his damn wedding.

But you see, I know it can't just be about that. There's no way I'd get that emotional over something that's really not that big of a deal. It's more about control. Supposedly, I get to control this wedding and since I can't control anything else in my life at this point, nobody better even THINK about taking that away from me.

Or I will eat you.

The only people who can tell me what they want in terms of this wedding are 1) Paul and 2) my parents. And that's it. If your name is not on that list, I DON'T CARE. I don't want Paul's "bros" thinking this is some kind of Lameda party or reunion or something.

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wingless was still breathing at 2:22 PM - 0 comments

Since I don't feel like working on my Private Equity case study just yet...

I'm behind on posting pictures. Two months behind to be exact. So here's a sample of what I took in February and maybe three months from now you'll get to see what March was like. If you're lucky.

I actually don't really remember this picture being taken. Mainly because I'd had four pints of lager just prior to it being snapped (drinking with the boys, you know how that goes...). We were on the Metro somewhere between Place Monge and Pompidou.

After class one night we decided we should probably check out the "Tour Eiffel" since we are living in Paris and all.

Walking over the Seine away from the Eiffel Tower.

The metro was really packed that night. Surprisingly this is still nothing compared to some of the RER rides we've taken to Cergy in the mornings. I will have to get some photographic evidence of that madness one of these days.

Joe and I were in the MacDo's at the Chatelet mall a few days later and there was an honest-to-God pigeon walking around in there. At one point it got in line and I was wondering, what does a pigeon order at McDonald's? The weird part was that no one seemed the least bit concerned that this rat of the sky was meandering through the restaurant...keep in mind that Chatelet is a relatively nice and touristy area.

After the pigeon sighting we finally made it out to the Louvre where we bought our "Carte Louvre Jeunes" for 15 euros each. It gives you unlimited access to the Louvre for 12 months and a bunch of other benefits like discounts in the gift shops and on audio guides. Definitely a recommended purchase for anyone between 18-25 who is going to be staying in Paris for awhile.

The Venus de Milo rising out of my head.

It was really cold and I wasn't properly dressed but Joe made me wander around outside the Louvre for awhile anyway. At least I got some cool pictures.


wingless was still breathing at 10:19 AM - 0 comments

And being caught in between all you wish for and all you see....

My website seems to be down but happily blogger is not so here I am.

I'm in a weird mood today.

I spent half the morning looking for a sweatshirt I wore a couple nights ago when I had too much wine/sangria/beer. Then I spent most of lunch thinking about where I could possibly have put it in my drunken state. Then when I got home from lunch I found it in my dirty clothes bag. I guess I was more sober than I thought.

In case you were wondering, yes I am still having major hyper-obsessive issues over not being able to find a job. I know that everyone is right and that it probably will be a lot easier once I am actually not 5,000 miles away from all the companies I am applying to...but somehow this does not actually make me feel any better. The psycho control freak in me is still flipping out and dying a little bit inside every time I check my email inbox to no avail. I know I need to calm down though or I'm going to make myself sick. Maybe I should try, I don't know, working on some schoolwork or something since I'm technically still in school and all.

Oh yeah, then there's that whole wedding fiasco. Who knew that these things don't just plan themselves? So far we have no DJ, no officiant (!!!), no cake, no flowers, no invitations, no flower girl dress, no rehearsal dinner...the list has pretty much not changed at all since three months ago. Oh wait, I did reserve a block of hotel rooms so if you're coming to the wedding and you need a place to stay email me and I'll send you the hotel information.

So uh, don't ask me about the wedding please because I don't know! In fact, don't ask me about much of anything because I don't know that either. Don't know where I'll be living in two months, don't know where/if I'll be working, and don't you dare ask me where.

Please believe I'm not a total mess, I just sound like one.

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wingless was still breathing at 8:28 AM - 0 comments

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Taking a break from feeling sorry for myself

There's this blog I read. And to be perfectly honest, I don't especially like the blogger. She's a complete mess, in her mid-to-late twenties still trying to make it through junior college. Married to a man almost twice her age who's HIV positive. Constantly broke, constantly losing jobs, constantly, well, a mess. Do I even need to tell you that she's a San Francisco liberal?

She's also trying to get pregnant.

And even though it's fairly obvious that the last thing in the world this girl needs is a baby, I find myself checking in on her blog whenever I remember to and actually pulling for her in an attempt to bring life into this world.

I don't know why. I'm always a little bit sad for her.


wingless was still breathing at 12:04 AM - 0 comments

Monday, March 26, 2007

God Can Be Trusted

That's what the Daily Devotion in my email inbox told me this morning.

I know this doesn't really seem related, but trust me it is. Somehow. I think. But, you know what really sucks about living with so many people? Even if you happen to really enjoy the company of two of those people? Is trying to cry silently in the bathroom so no one else can hear you.

I don't know why I'm letting the whole never going to find a job thing get me so freaking depressed. Maybe it's not just about that, I don't know.

I know I'm a huge freaking baby. So sue me.

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wingless was still breathing at 11:04 PM - 0 comments

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Don't worry, I'm sick of it too

I keep starting this and then deleting it. Because, well, quite frankly I'm sick of hearing me whine about this. It makes me feel like I suck at life and have nothing else to say, which I suppose for the moment is the truth. (Although not the complete truth because! I have a lot to say! Because Paul was here! And he bought me a present from the LV store on the Champs Elysee! And I'm not totally spoiled or anything!)

Anyway, even though you don't want to hear it and I don't want to hear it I'm going to launch into this whole "Woe is me, nobody wants to hire me or even give me an interview for that matter" bit. Feel free to look away.

I've learned not even to get my hopes up. For example, I was referred this past week by a relative of mine who is somewhat of a VIP in one of the major auditing firms. Am I surprised that I heard nothing from the recruiter who was supposed to be in contact with me? Nope. Just incredibly depressed because once again the crickets are chirping and they're saying that I suck.

The Hubs says I just need to be a bit more patient, but even he agrees that a recruiter shouldn't take three days to respond, particularly not when you've been referred by someone up there in the company. So I'm taking it as rejection until I hear otherwise.

I think I'm going to go wallow in my pathetic-ness now. Or maybe do something productive like look for more companies I can get rejected by.


wingless was still breathing at 7:13 AM - 0 comments

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Everything's gonna be alright...maybe

So that feeling of discouraged, panicky, desperation has returned in full force.

I had a good prospect, nay, a friggin' great prospect. But unfortunately my contact heard nothing back and I was supposed to follow up myself on it tomorrow but today the job disappeared off the company website. Ugggh. It was an ideal position in so many ways (the position itself, the company, the location, etc.) and now it's gone. Poof. Off the company website. And for some reason I find this to be completely crushing because I guess I had put so much hope into getting this job. This job was my holy grail of jobs and now it's gone. And I didn't even get a chance to bomb the interview.

Luckily I have a big glass of Bordeaux to comfort me. But I'm still not very comforted. Mostly just depressed and feeling that feeling I used to feel in high school when I was afraid I wouldn't get into college and I'd end up living as a bum inside of a cardboard box on the streets of San Francisco. (Yes, I realize I'm being melodramatic but I don't care, this is how I feel).

I know that I have to remember God has a plan for me and this is just all a part of it. Trust in the Lord and all that good stuff, I know it, I'm just having a hard time feeling it. I mostly just feel like a pathetic, crazy loser with no chance at a decent career. And when I feel like this it's really hard for me to "let go" of things and "just believe" that God will lead me to where I'm supposed to be. What can I say? It's the control freak in me. I have this obsessive need to know where I'm going and what's happening next. And maybe this is exactly the habit that God is trying to break me of, that feeling that I am in control. Because I'm not. Oh boy, am I not. Maybe that's the reason for all of this, the racist roommate from hell, the rejection, the desperation. Maybe this is the process, maybe He is breaking me.

But I still hate that feeling of not knowing.

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wingless was still breathing at 4:51 PM - 0 comments

Ignorance is just, well, stupid.

I woke up this morning with every intention of trying to be nice to my roommate. I really, really did. Honestly, when I first woke up I was feeling a little irked by her because she woke me up to ask me if I had the phone before checking in the living room first. But I told myself, look, just try to think good thoughts about her and maybe magically you'll feel less annoyed.

And for about thirty minutes it kind of worked. That is, until we got to our first class and had to discuss affirmative action and race.

Now the first time we "discussed" affirmative action on the metro it was bad enough. It was bad enough when she said she didn't care if AA hurt Asians since, from her "experience" most Asians "cheated anyway." Yeah, that was bad enough (especially considering I distinctly remember HER copying off MY work last semester). But today? Oh today she just reached a whole new level of ignorant, racist, bitch.

So she's there defending AA, of course, talking about how it's still necessary and this and that, I jump in a couple times because she's rambling and not giving anyone else a chance to talk. Eventually I'm allowed to get a sentence in and bring up the fact that AA hurts Asians, and technically we are also a minority.

Her response? And please keep in mind that I am NOT embellishing here and have an entire class worth of people to back me up on this...She says: "Well 100% of Asians are smuggled over from China and they just live in those Chinatowns that are all over America and they just stay in those Chinatowns and work in Mr. Chang's grocery store."

Jaws dropped. I was speechless. And my roommate Joe slams his head down into his hands and yells out, "Oh my GOD! That's SO racist!" To which she replies, "No, I'm not being racist." I think I tried to point out to her that statistically Asians are probably the immigrant group with the largest number of college degrees (before coming to America) but she would have none of it. Nope. We all come over in shipping crates and work at Mr. Chang's grocery store in her world.

So, yeah, being nice and trying to "think nice" just went straight out the window after that. I could barely look at her without thinking "What a freaking moron." Luckily, I wasn't alone since she managed to insult almost everyone in the class at some point with her rambling tirades about race. For some reason she's got it in her head that anyone from Africa is black, including all of our Arabic classmates who seemed quite offended at the suggestion. Even after being shot down several times with reasons as to why Arabic does not equal black she STILL spent ten minutes talking about how in her mind (and if it's true to her it must be true period) they ARE black.

UGGGGHHHH...my cat is smarter than this girl. I don't know how I'm going to last two more months. I feel like just being near her is making my IQ drop.

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wingless was still breathing at 10:57 AM - 3 comments

Monday, March 12, 2007

Beautiful day in the neighborhood....

For the past two days, there hasn't been a cloud in the Paris sky. It almost feels like home.


wingless was still breathing at 4:02 PM - 0 comments

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I can't hold this in anymore

I'm trying really hard not to let this program turn me into a complete bitch. And it's getting pretty tough.

Don't get me wrong, for the most part I like my classmates, I really do. There are just a couple of people that I consider to be complete and utter morons. As Carlos Mencia would say, they're classic "dee dee dee's." How they made it through their undergraduate degrees is beyond me. Whether they will or should make it through this program is not up to me so I just won't comment on that.

Anyway, I have a lot of pet peeves, for one blatant stupidity irks the hell out of me. For example, someone who entered into this (International Finance) program without even knowing what the hell "finance" is makes zero sense to me. The fact that this same person now wants to work with non-profits in a very human resources type position is not so surprising but what is, is when I asked "So maybe an MBA specializing in HR would have been a better program for you?" I got "No, I'm not interested in HR" shot back at me. Hm...okay.

The fact that this same person who was supposedly in a professional working environment for a number of years and yet still doesn't understand that you don't walk up to a professor who's class you've just skipped (as in you literally walk in the moment class ends) and ask him if he can help you find a job...well perhaps it would have surprised me at the beginning of this semester but not at this point. Not even when I asked said person if that was really a good idea and was told, "(The professor) didn't care anyway." Right, cause professors never care when students skip their class for no particular reason.

And the list goes on and on and on and I know that you're probably thinking, well it's not your problem, just ignore it. Trust me. I have. I try. One of the problems is that I share close quarters with said person and am often unable to block out of the sound of said person's voice. And frequent grammar errors. And what really worries me is the fact that this person is (most likely) going to be representing the same degree program that I'm coming out of. Representing it with a significantly lower GPA, but representing it nonetheless, and perhaps lowering the value of my degree with said person's awful grammar and affinity for saying "aks" instead of "ask." And dropping verbs out of sentences (i.e. "why you tryna scare me").

The fact is I'm only in the third class coming out of this program and every single one of my classmates is representing not only themselves but this program and therefore me and it seriously irks/worries/scares the crap out of me that this person is going to be walking around branding my degree.

But at the same time I feel like I'm degenerating into some kind of awful human being who lacks the ability to empathize with this persons um...issues. I don't want to be that person. But the type A, competitive, control freak in me can't help but squirm inside.

I know that this is a test from God. My ability to love those who are difficult to love is being tested. And I feel like I'm failing miserably but I don't know how to turn myself around. I just don't know. And I hate that feeling.

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wingless was still breathing at 11:12 AM - 1 comments

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Mouth: Insert foot

Since my last post I've calmed down a bit. But only a tiny bit since I was just r-e-j-e-c-t-e-d for a position I thought I at least had a decent shot at. On the upside, it was an actual rejection made by someone with a pulse. So I guess I got my wish or something. At least it wasn't rejection via silence and crickets chirping and an empty inbox. Of course I'm pretty sure the only reason I got any sort of response at all was because it was one of those referral things, from someone relatively high up in the company. I don't think "you're not qualified" (written of course in a much nicer way) usually warrants an email from a real human being.

Anywho, I guess the next logical thing to wish for is to not be rejected and to get an actual interview and an actual good job (see I'm learning, not wishing for the lowest common denominator, wish for everything at once!). By my count I have two more solid chances at this point, one through a cousin and one through one of my French professors. Two solid chances to not be a loser and wind up as an administrative assistant. Please dear God.


wingless was still breathing at 2:36 PM - 0 comments

Monday, March 05, 2007

Gimme something with a beat

Well, it's March. Which means I'm officially less than half a semester away from being done with school. Again. Which also means my job search has been kicked into high gear - or at least attempting to be kicked into high gear.

But for some reason I feel very discouraged. And somewhat worthless. And a little bit like I will never find anyone to hire me again. Rationally, I know this is a silly fear, I may have things to explain in my employment history but I'm intelligent, well-educated and competent and eventually I will find someone to give me a chance. At least, this is what my brain tells me. I'm pretty sure that in my heart I don't quite believe it.

Last night Paul and I talked about how he needs to be more aggressive in his career, or at least learn how to fake it. He said that it's unfair for me to compare myself to him because I'm naturally outgoing.

To which I said, HA!


But I suppose, to those who are not me, this is how it would seem. And I suppose that compared to Paul, yes I am more outgoing. Although, really, this is not saying all that much.

On the inside though? I'm a freaking basket-case with a moderate-to-severe case of social anxiety disorder. Maybe everyone is like this on the inside, I really don't know because like most people I tend to think I am unique in my secret lunacy. All I know is that I pretty much have to force every type of social interaction on myself because when all is said and done I'll spend days agonizing over every word, every possible thing I might have said that someone could have taken the wrong way, every glance, every silence and by the end of all the thinking I'll pretty much have convinced myself that everyone I spend time with hates me and thinks I am annoying and should just go away and rot in a corner somewhere. I can fake "sociable" pretty well, I just pay for it later.

Okay, I don't know what the point of that little aside was, except maybe to lay the groundwork for the fact that I tend to get inside my head and drive myself nuts a lot of the time.

And right now I happen to be driving myself batty because it's been over a month since I started sending out resumes and cover letters and so far I have heard back from...Zip, Zilch, and Nada. No one with a pulse has even sent me a "We got your resume and we'll let you know if/how we want to proceed soon." If I got just one email that was attached to an actual heartbeat rather than a robot I think it would go a long way to making me less stressed out.

I swear, this feels like that dream where you went to school naked.


wingless was still breathing at 4:38 AM - 0 comments

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Hoping for one just like her

Today (technically yesterday for me, but it's still today in the good ol' USA so shhhh!) is my little sister's 22nd birthday. And I know, I know, that means that she's technically not so little anymore, but to me she will always be that cute little two year old who calls herself "Tony" because she can't pronounce her name properly.

She found out last week that she got into Stanford for their Master's in Education program and when I called her today to wish her a happy birthday she told me that she also found out she got a fellowship from Stanford. There are no words that can express exactly how proud of her I am.

My little sister has always been the angel in the family, and a total over-achiever. And while I guess some sisters might resent that, all I can say is that honestly? If I'm ever lucky enough to have a daughter? I hope that she turns out just like my sister.

Happy birthday mei zi!


wingless was still breathing at 6:21 PM - 0 comments

Amsterdam Day 3

Amsterdam Day 1
Amsterdam Day 2

We woke up (around noon again) and since our rooms were kind of across from each other, decided to take pictures across the air shaft.

As we were walking to the Anne Frank museum Joe saw this sign and tried to convince everyone to try some absinth.

Since it was only about three in the afternoon, only Selma bit.

On our way to the Anne Frank museum again. Realized we had no pictures of the canals so we decided to take some.

So which side is rational? In Europe it seems like the word "rational" has lost all meaning.

Post-Anne Frank museum. Joe bought a book for his mommy and for some reason we all thought it would be fun to pose next to the AF statue pretending to read it.


wingless was still breathing at 12:19 PM - 0 comments

Explaining France Part 1

Ever since I moved here, I've been trying to describe France to a lot of folks who have perhaps visited but never actually resided in this fine country. It's a hard thing to do, really, because although France is very similar to America in a lot of ways, it's also unbelievably different. Some of my friends actually do not believe what I have to say about France, so I tell them, spend a couple months here yourself and you will see.

The best description I've come up with so far is that France is like a retarded America with prettier buildings, better food and skinnier people. "A retarded America" sounds pretty harsh, I know, but that's the only way I can describe a country that seems to collectively lost its common sense. I'll get into that later on in the post though, first let me talk about some myths/thoughts Americans seem to have about France.

Something I learned rather quickly upon landing here in France, is that contrary to popular (American) belief, the French do not hate America, Americans or speaking English. Now maybe it's only because I can't understand most of what is said to me in French, but people here seem decent enough and pleasant, altough you will get some rude stares in the subway for speaking loud, American English. And like I said, maybe I'd feel completely differently about this if I could actually understand what is being said to me in French, but I assume that if there's no scowl that they're not being dicks. They could be calling me a capitalist American pig with a smile on their face, but I give them the benefit of the doubt. So Myth #1 was quickly dispelled - the French do not hate America/Americans/speaking English (although a lot of them really can't speak English at all, but hey I can't speak French so who am I to judge).

Now that we've established that the French do not hate America, I feel I should qualify that statement by saying even though they do not dislike America, they still think that they are better than Americans in almost every possible way. They think their culture is superior to ours. I'll give them the food and the architecture and preserving history bit, but as for everything else? No-freaking-way. And I find it a bit silly on their part too since everywhere you go in Paris you will find MacDo's (McDonald's), KFC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks and a whole slew of other very American stores. And although the French will try very hard to convince you that only tourists go into MacDo's, step into one yourself and you will undoubtedly find yourself surrounded by very typically French people. In fact, a lot of the people who work in the American fast food chains in Paris don't even speak English so I find it hard to believe that only tourists go to those places.

Another thing I've noticed that always strikes me as odd is that everywhere you go you will hear American pop music. I'm not sure what the French would listen to if they weren't listening to six-month old American "eep-op" (hip-hop) because that's seriously all you hear. Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, P-Diddy and the like are all incredibly popular. So, again, not sure where they get off being snobby about their supposedly superior culture.

The worst part of it all, is that their "thugs" have taken the worst part of American culture, the ghetto hip hop culture, and somehow managed to make it even more pathetic and laughable. I really didn't think that was possible but go hang out at Chatelet for 10 minutes and you'll see exactly what I mean. My roommate Joe likes to call it "hip-hop gone wrong" and it is, it really is. Somehow they made "ghetto" look really homosexual on top of looking incredibly stupid.

Also, the whole "French are rude" thing? I don't know if it's "rude" per-se or just very different from the kind of politeness we're used to in America. For example, here it seems perfectly socially acceptable to let your dog take a huge dump in the middle of the sidewalk and then continue on your merry way without picking it up. Every time I see this I have to suppress my gut reaction to yell after them, "Are you planning on picking that up?" which is certainly what I would do in America.

People here are also just not quite as friendly as in America. They think Americans are odd because we smile when we say "Bon Soir" as we pass each other in the stairway. It's just not how the French do things. They're not a very expressive people. And to them it's not "rude" when the information desk man looks bored and annoyed at your question, it's simply how things are done here. I have to say, that's one thing I don't like very much about France, I prefer my information desk people to be smiling and actually, um, helpful?

I think I will have to continue on with this post (and explaining my rationale behind the "retarded America" statement) at a later time because well...the toilet beckons. Yup, still suffering from the cacas. And school starts again on Tuesday. All. Day. Long.

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wingless was still breathing at 7:52 AM - 0 comments

Saturday, March 03, 2007

But I still think she's hot

I used to love Angelina Jolie. I really did. But lately? She's really starting to bug the hell out of me. Especially since she said what she said about her biological daughter Shiloh being "a blob" and feeling "so much more" for her adopted kids.

I know that calling Shiloh "a blob" was taken out of context, but whatever, she just told her kid that she "feels so much more" for her brothers and sisters. Is it really poor Shiloh's fault that she is the biological child of two huge egos Hollywood celebs?

Anyway, I was just reminded about how much Angelina annoys me by this article regarding her latest adoption in Vietnam.

Of course, the argument in Jolie's favor is, "So what? As long as she's saving the little kid from poverty, who cares about the rules?" But the rules exist for a reason - to protect the kids. You screen adoption candidates because certain people aren't great prospects, they don't have stable situations, and bad things can happen. Am I saying we should be worried that Angelina is a bad mom? No. But why should we assume that, just because she's rich and famous, she will necessarily be able to give the kids she adopts a better life? If she's really such a wonderful mother, then let her go through the process like everyone else. She'll be vindicated in the end. The only reason she's circumventing the rules is because she doesn't want to be inconvenienced. Movie-stars get used to being fast-tracked, moved to the front of the line, let in through the side-door. And Angelina is no exception. However, if she's really such a great advocate of adoption as she claims, then she should have more respect for the rules. She shouldn't turn the adoption process into a farce. She should set a better example for other prospective adopters. Her behavior frankly makes her seem very selfish and unconcerned about supporting a system that, after all, exists to keep the kids from harm. But, of course, it's all about Angelina, isn't it? What Angelina wants Angelina gets.

(emphasis mine)

And yes, ever since I moved to Paris, I've been keeping a dirty little secret from y'all...I'm addicted to Perez Hilton, The Superficial and more recently Crabbie's Hollywood and I Don't Like You In That Way. Feel free to throw stones at me or whatever. I also got my roommates (Joe and Poon) addicted too.

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wingless was still breathing at 11:36 PM - 0 comments

When "honor" isn't so honorable.

Ever since I read The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang as a sophomore in high school, I have to scoff a bit every time I hear the Japanese talk about "honor" in relation to anything that even comes close to referencing WWII.

So just try to imagine my reaction when I read this article on CNN.com.

"Where there's demand, businesses crop up ... but to say women were forced by the Japanese military into service is off the mark," he said. "This issue must be reconsidered, based on truth ... for the sake of Japanese honor."

Basically, a lot of Japanese still want to pretend that their soldiers didn't act like a bunch of barbaric animals in China, Korea and almost every other Asian country that was unfortunate enough to be invaded by the "Imperial Army." I think the Japanese need to quit hemming and hawing about honor and just own up to the fact that they did a lot of bad sh*t to a lot of people. I think that would be a helluva lot more honorable, anyway.

The facts are against them and they need to accept that.

I remember when I read The Rape of Nanking the author wrote that one of the main reasons the atrocities in China were never given much attention was because of post-war Japan's economic boom and the fact that no one, not even the Chinese government, wanted to rock the boat and upset the Japanese by discussing such "dishonorable" things. I wonder if...as China becomes an economic giant in its own right, one that will certainly eclipse Japan very soon...if that will change things. And maybe this time, Japan's attempt to wipe clean its own WWII-slate, will piss the Chinese off enough to take a stand. I hope so anyway.

The US State Department should also be ashamed of itself, but I guess they're still stuck in the "don't piss of our buddies the Japanese" mindset.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack would not comment on Abe's statement. "I'll let the Japanese political system deal with that," he said.


wingless was still breathing at 1:36 PM - 0 comments

Not just useful in China

In case you were wondering, I still have the "cacas" (my roommate Joe's twist on the way little French kids say doody). Pepto just isn't cutting it so we ventured over to the 13th arrondisement/Chinatown in search of some "zhen lu wan" (a Chinese remedy for the cacas).

Unfortunately, even the Chinese in France are somewhat prone to frequent and extended break-taking and there was no one at the medicine counter for a good 15 minutes. When the woman finally returned I was told rather unapologetically that no, we don't sell that here.

But I did come home with some rice crackers, soy bean drink, asian pears, peaches, dried squid and a precious bottle of aloe drink. Oh and I got to go into stores and communicate with the store clerks just like back in the states! No hand gestures necessary! Except I was speaking in Chinese and not English.

It's funny, I think by the time I get home my Chinese will have improved a lot more than my French. Because whenever we go into Asian restaurants here I can't speak French, they can't speak English, so we meet at Chinese.

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wingless was still breathing at 12:45 PM - 0 comments

Friday, March 02, 2007

*knock on wood*

There's a rumor going around the hubs office. Word has it that my man is going to be getting a promotion and a big raise soon. Probably before June. And when I say big, I mean like all told he'll probably be doubling his current salary. Of course it's all a rumor right now, but if it's true that means the pressure's off me, in terms of finding a job the moment I step back on American soil. Phew. Thanks baby! This marriage thing ain't half bad.

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wingless was still breathing at 5:23 AM - 0 comments

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A funny thing happened on the way to Chatelet

Inspired by some expat blogs I started reading tonight, I've decided that I should probably write more frequently about my experiences here in France. A lot of strange/funny things happen to you when you are an American who lives in France but who speaks very little French beyond "Merci" "Bonjour" and "Je ne parle pas Francais" (I don't speak French).

My roommates and I have done quite a few stupid things since we arrived. For one thing we took the train from Rambuteau to Chatelet for a solid two weeks. If you're not familiar with the Paris metros this may not sound stupid to you, but just wait, I'll explain.

Being from California we're entirely unaccustomed to walking and tend to automatically assume that everything must be far apart. And, walk? Are you crazy?! So for the first two weeks of class we would walk the two blocks to the Rambuteau station, hop on the line 11, get off two stops later at Chatelet and then walk through a maze of underground tunnels, like rats, until we reached the platform for the RER A.

We did this despite the fact that our French friends kept insisting we lived "really close" to Chatelet. Try walking one time! they told us. We kept saying we would but then when it came down to it we all figured it would be some kind of long, arduous journey and one of us would say screw it lets just take the 11 and the rest of us would happily agree.

Finally one day we decided to check out the "soldes" (sales, which happens to be a word the French are only allowed to use twice a year, a story for another time) at the Chatelet mall. As per usual we hopped on the train at Rambuteau. Instead of walking through the underground labyrinth, though, we emerged from the Chatelet station unsure of exactly where the mall was. We wandered for a bit and then things started to look familiar and we realized that Chatelet was all of about 6 blocks from our apartment.

Yes, for two entire weeks we'd been riding the line 11 to a point that was actually beyond the RER A platform and then walking back through tunnels (which reeked of month-old urine) to the RER A. Basically, the same distance to walk directly from our apartment to Chatelet.

We're not in a Master's program for nothin' you know.

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wingless was still breathing at 7:06 PM - 0 comments

The train can be fun

It was a very musical day in the metro today. First there was the guy playing an Asian instrument as we waited for line 8. Then there was the other guy playing the guitar on the 8. Then there was the band at Republique (walking to line 8, later in the day). And then finally...the "coup de grace" (cherry on top) our final metro ride of the night where there were some Eastern European teenagers rapping (in some Eastern European language) to Stunt 101 by G-Unit. And doing some rendition of a stripper-pole dance. And gyrating in this one poor girl's face. And showing off their skinny "muscles." Before going through the train asking for money.

The white-haired lady a few rows down did not look amused.

Ah, Paris, you never cease to entertain.

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wingless was still breathing at 5:16 PM - 0 comments

Those "truth-ers" would have their panties in a bunch

So I'm in a complain-y mood tonight, perhaps due to the fact that I apparently have some kind of stomach bug that sends me to the bathroom every hour on the hour. Even though this has been going on since about Monday or so, for some odd reason I still keep agreeing to go out to happy hours and Mexican/Brazilian food.

Onto the complaining, one of the most upsetting things about living in France, as someone who comes from California, is the smoking. Every-freaking-where. I feel like I'm inhaling so much smoke that I might as well light up myself, except I already feel so dizzy and nauseated by everyone else's cigarettes that I'd probably just keel over or vomit into my plate if I did.

Seriously, it feels like these people are just not capable of going more than 5 minutes without a cigarette. You will see people getting onto the train taking the last puff of their cigarette as though they are going to have to hold their breath for fifteen minutes and actually exhaling all their smoke INTO the train after the doors have closed. You will then see that same person (five minutes later) standing right next to the door with a cigarette in one hand and a lighter in the other eagerly anticipating the moment the train doors open so that they can light up even before they've actually completely exited the train.

Then there are the people who seem to have no qualms lighting up around anyone. Babies? No problem. Pregnant women? No problem. The only thing I haven't seen yet is someone light up around someone breathing off an air tank. But since I haven't seen anyone strolling around Paris with an air tank yet that's really not saying much. I wonder what the incidence of lung cancer is in this country?

Besides the fact that I am probably considerably shortening my life everytime I step into a bar, club, restaurant or cafe, the other irritating thing is how all of my clothes smell like cigarettes. And my hair constantly reeks of cigarettes. Here's a hint for any girls who might be planning on visiting/living in France, never, EVER wash your hair before going to a bar/club/cafe/restaurant unless you enjoy shampooing twice in one day. If you like to take your showers in the morning, bring a shower cap.

This city may be full of delicious foods but there are so many disgusting smells to go with...week-old urine, pungent body odor and smoke, smoke and more smoke. Yech.

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wingless was still breathing at 4:37 PM - 0 comments

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